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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    43

    life in States ?

    Hello,

    I've been reading on couple of places what the basic life standards lately in US are, and I got very different pictures. They all say different things. I would like to ask you guys from USA, how is life there lately?
    How much money you are making, are you satisfied, what is the cut that government is taking, how much you pay for food, and apartment rental, and general expenses? Do you feel outsourcing on your skin? How hard is to find a good job, etc?

    This question would apply for all other countries out there. It would be very interesting to hear your story.

    Thanks allot for all the answers.

    B.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    2,852
    They are ripping us for gas. $2.20/Gal. Considering I have a ~23 gallon tank, =50.6. At $7.50/hour I have to work 6 1/2 hours.

    Anyway, hard to say "how much do you pay for food". What kind of food are you talking about?

    Apartments are around $600-$700 where I live. Houses are $250,000+ (Lake Michigan)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    724
    Life in the USA is very good for me, I wouldnt want to be any other place!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Fairfax, Virginia
    Posts
    6,835
    For the most part, our standards of living, as a nation overall, are unparalleled in our afforded luxuries and privileges. However, this could all change in an instant, as some here are familiar with.

    The average family income here is about $105,000. Homes here are currently averaging around $500,000 in the current real estate bubble, while, if there were to be one, I'd say the typical car is a 2004-2005 Japanese, German, or American car (Honda Accord LXs, Acura sedans and SUVs, Toyota Camrys, BMWs, Mercedes of all sorts, Porsches, high-end Ford pickup trucks and SUVs, high-end GM cars and SUVs, etc.).

    EDIT: The above description applies to my local area, in Fairfax County, Virginia, USA, not to the country, by any means, as a whole.

    On the whole, life in America is good.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    724
    $500,000 is certainly the higher priced living areas DC, Virginia, and Maryland are rather high priced areas. Where I am from homes range any where from $50,000 and up. Just depends where you want to live.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Fairfax, Virginia
    Posts
    6,835
    Originally posted by doot
    $500,000 is certainly the higher priced living areas DC, Virginia, and Maryland are rather high priced areas. Where I am from homes range any where from $50,000 and up. Just depends where you want to live.
    Exactly. While housing prices will plummet if you go into Bailey's Crossroads, some parts of Arlington or Alexandria, and a lot of D.C., the housing prices out here in Northern Virginia (especially Fairfax and Loudoun Counties) are astonishingly high. A new housing project has been up behind our formerly serene, beautiful community, with homes "starting" in the upper $900s.

  7. #7
    New York City:
    Apartments: $1200 to $80,000 per month rent, depending on the location. In suburbs (i.e. brooklyn, queens, Staten Island Bronx it is on lower end, while in Manhattan, specially midtown, upper east side etc it is above what most americans make in an year).

    Food: You can survive in $400-500 per person (that is when you are cooking at home and eating regular stuff, not the expensive one.)

    Commute: MTA Metrocard Monthly pass is the best, $76/month, unlimited subway rides, and NYC has some 1000kms of subway tracks, and lots of buses.

    House Prices:
    in suburbs, 1BR apt (600 sq ft): is $130K, in manhattan, it is $750K.
    1 family home in suburbs is $350K-$500K (lot area 2000-2500 sq ft, build area 1400-1600 sq ft.)
    2 family home in suburbs is $450K - $1.2 Mil. (lot area 3000 sq ft to 5000 sq ft, build area 2000-2800 sq ft)

    In Manhattan, 2 BR apt (1200 sq ft) start from over 1 million dollars and go upto 100+ million dollars (some big huge apartments). Independent homes are in millions too.

    it is one of the most expensive city!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4
    I lived in Northern Virginia area for awhile and did not like the traffic into Washington D.C. Jobs were plentiful and rent was beginning to escalate. That was in 1986 and I was paying $650 a month for a nice 2 bedroom apartment. I moved to North Carolina, hard to find a good job, lower cost of living. Rented a house for about $400 a month. Moved to Cincinnati, Ohio area. Jobs readily available at fast foot restaurants paying $6.00 per hour to $9.00 per hour. IT jobs were anywhere from $30,000 per year to $100,000+ per year. It varied greatly. Cost of food is on the rise, gas is on the rise (but no where near what some other countries are paying). I live in southwestern VA now and gas is averaging $1.95 per gallon.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    673
    Here is some info comparing US with NL.

    US
    -Population 296Mil.
    -Average US inkome $40K
    -Population below poverty line: 12% (35.5 miljoen people)
    -Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.5%
    -Unemployment rate: 5.5%
    -Average Public debt: $26K (65%)

    The Netherlands
    -Population 16.4Mil.
    -Average US inkome $30K
    -Population below poverty line: 3% (0,5 miljoen people)
    -Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.4%
    -Unemployment rate: 6%
    -Average Public debt: $17K (57%)

    My own experiance

    Most consumer products are cheaper than The Netherlands. If NL price index is 100
    US is (not considering the cheap USD, so USD = 1 Euro)

    Food : 85
    Cars : 50
    Gasoline: 45
    Clothing : 90
    Buying House: 80 (based on simular locations)
    Renting a house: 120 (based on simular locations)
    Healthcare: 150
    University: 300

    On average US citizens pay less tax and have an higher income. Life is cheaper, unless you rent. Scholing is expensive

    If you have a high income, US is a good place to live. Yet there is a huge difference between Rich and Poor in the US.

    With 35.5 miljoen of the population living under povertyline and 13 miljoen beeing homeless. Make sure you are part of the rich!

    My 2cents
    Last edited by Johnburk; 05-14-2005 at 04:56 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Jakarta
    Posts
    1,585
    They are ripping us for gas. $2.20/Gal. Considering I have a ~23 gallon tank, =50.6. At $7.50/hour I have to work 6 1/2 hours.
    Please do not say the USA is expensive for gas. I live in Australia, and pay almost that amount per LITRE.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Uk
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    422
    Originally posted by whatever
    Please do not say the USA is expensive for gas. I live in Australia, and pay almost that amount per LITRE.
    In England it's typically about 0.81 per litre.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    West Michigan, USA
    Posts
    9,675
    Life is good. Taxes are insane (I pay around 28%) and the money is not well-spent, in my opinion. I'm amazed that we don't have free health care yet.

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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Castle Pines, CO
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    7,189
    You might check out Sperling's Best Places. It all depends on what state you live in and what part of the state.

    For example, I live in Los Angeles. Gas is about $2.70 or os a gallon. Houses in the particular area (Encino) are very expensive. The house I have now is about a 2-bedroom, 1 bath a little less than 1,000 sq ft. They are going for about $550,000. The house I grew up in in Bonham, Texas, is about 3,500 sq ft, 4 bedroom, 1.5 bath on 25,000 sq ft of land - valued at $32,000.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    1,168
    Originally posted by doot
    $500,000 is certainly the higher priced living areas DC, Virginia, and Maryland are rather high priced areas. Where I am from homes range any where from $50,000 and up. Just depends where you want to live.
    $50,000 homes ..

    Homes here are $500,000+, apartments are in the thousands range.

    Gas.. I read a post earlier of european gas being the equiv of $8/gallon , so I'm not going to complain =p
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    The Woodlands, Tx
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    5,962
    Originally posted by Diaga
    $50,000 homes ..

    Homes here are $500,000+, apartments are in the thousands range.

    Gas.. I read a post earlier of european gas being the equiv of $8/gallon , so I'm not going to complain =p
    I will. I live in Texas. I dont live in a country like Brit where I could ride my bike across the entire country in a single day. How much gas could you possibly use there?

    I was driving 300-500 miles per day in my truck, but making great money. Then I switched jobs and making double than before, and doing about 10 miles per day. On days where I have to deliver or pick up equipment for our DC, I might do 80 miles.

  16. #16
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    Oct 2004
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    I dont live in a country like Brit where I could ride my bike across the entire country in a single day.
    rofl~ you're going to flamed by some brit for that
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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Reading, England
    Posts
    4,243
    Originally posted by Webdude
    I will. I live in Texas. I dont live in a country like Brit where I could ride my bike across the entire country in a single day. How much gas could you possibly use there?

    I was driving 300-500 miles per day in my truck, but making great money. Then I switched jobs and making double than before, and doing about 10 miles per day. On days where I have to deliver or pick up equipment for our DC, I might do 80 miles.
    The average annual mileage per car in both the USA and UK is 12,000 miles.
    Steve

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    844
    It depends where you are in the United States. In my town, the average house price is a little above two million. Granted, if the house was anywhere else in the United States, it would be worth 400-500, 000.

    It's location, location, location

  19. #19
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    Jan 2004
    Posts
    724
    I personally would not buy a 500,000 home, the yearly taxes alone would be out of sight. where I come from we still eat corn bread and chicken so a $50,000 home to me is a decent looking home.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    673
    $50.000 for a home! That is around 40.000 euro!

    I am now in The Netherlands and you won't find a house for <$100.000, not even in the getto's.

    A standalone house would cost you on average $300.000 to $350.000. A good location $450.000+ and that is for a 1500 square feet house with 500 sqaure feet garden

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    The Woodlands, Tx
    Posts
    5,962
    I paid $8000 per acre, and I have two acres. Then $35,000 for my house new. That was 10 years ago. Now it's all worth around $300,000

    So when I sell, I will have at least a $250,000 profit. However, since values are still going up, I'm not selling yet. My area is growing fast as everyone wants to move further outside if Houston.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Miami, FL
    Posts
    3,262
    We don't even have apartments/condos here in Miami, FL for $50,000. Avg for a condo/apartment is $200,00+, avg cost for a home (4/3) in this area is $400,000-$800,000.

    I enjoy living in the U.S. (all my life basically) and it's nothing to praise or to insult. Life is life. I do what I want when I want and go where I want when I want. I'm free to drive around and I'm free to stay at home.

    Different parts of the U.S. live their life differently.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, ON
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    For $800 000 Canadian you can get a 4500 sq. ft luxurious home here in Montreal.

    $800 000 CAD = $632 261 USD
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  24. #24
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    Dec 2004
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    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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    For $800 000 Canadian you can get a 4500 sq. ft luxurious home here in Montreal.

    $800 000 CAD = $632 261 USD
    Yea, the cost of living in Montreal is very cheap. A friend of mine moved from Montreal. He was paying $600 a year for car insurance after moving Toronto he had to pay $800 a month for car insurance. The cost of living has really gone up a lot in North America, however, min wage increased by a few cents.

    I feel bad when I see some people working for $8 or $7.15 an hour CDN (Canadian) who have a home, two or three children etc and to top things off get treated like garbage at their job.

    I'm thankful for my job, as i'm at work right now. In my opinion the min wage should be at least $9-10 an hour. Here, a decent apartment/condo will go for 1,000-1,200 a month or a decent home for 1,200-,1,400 a month. However, there are some really nice condos which are around $1,800 a month not including the maintance fee which is around another $200-$300 a month.

    So as someone stated earlier it's all about location, location and location. I know some places in downtown toronto which have some of the ugliest homes you'll ever see and are maybe 1,000SQ at most. But these homes sell for $600,000-$700,000.

    My house is 2,100SQ FT and is currently worth $300,000 in the market.

    The thing is we have a lot of yard. A lot of the new homes which are 2000-4000SQ FT have barely any backyard or front yard which some people do fancy.

    The rich get richer and the poor get poorer that's the way it works in North America. There will always be poverty, third world countries and poor people. It's what keeps this country and the world running. Without third world countries and poverty we wouldn't have all the luxuries we have today.

    Maybe you don't want to believe this but it's true. Who else is going to build us all of our toys (not kid toys), clothes and entertainment stuff for $22USD a month? Oh in banglidesh, pakistan, mexico. Those $140 pair of jeans which cost $2 to be made by some boy in mexico for $30 a month. Not to mention they all get lung problems from the chemicals used to make those cool fades and colours on the jeans.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Duluth MN
    Posts
    3,864
    I bought my house for $18,500 (Manufactured home, 1994 Artcraft).

    My overall living expenses are ~$1500/mo, this includes loan payments/credit card payments etc.

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